I doubt that anyone will be too surprised to hear that science fiction movies are rarely scientifically accurate. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Nonetheless, when actual rocket scientists weigh in on the issue, perhaps we should give their opinions some credence. If you’ve ever wondered which movies NASA thinks are the dumbest ever made, now’s your chance to find out.
During a recent day-long private conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, NASA experts pleaded with Hollywood to make science fiction movies less stupid, and compiled a list of some of the biggest offenders.
Big shock: ‘Armageddon‘ is high up there. You remember that one – the movie where the world’s greatest scientists determine that it would be easier to train a bunch of illiterate, wise-cracking oil drillers to pilot a space shuttle than it would be to train real astronauts how to drill a hole. Other dishonorable mentions include ‘The Core’, ‘Chain Reaction‘, and ‘The 6th Day‘.
So, what’s the dumbest movie ever made, according to NASA? That would be Roland Emmerich’s end-of-the-world disaster flick ‘2012‘. Personally, I think you could put just about any Roland Emmerich movie in this category.
I’m also glad to see NASA call out the bullshit New Age “documentary” ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?’ (the movie that would have us believe that water has feelings) as a huge load of pseudoscience bunk.
With that said, what movies does NASA like? One of the most realistic sci-fi movies is also one of the earliest – Fritz Lang’s silent masterpiece ‘Metropolis‘. Also rated highly are ‘Contact‘ (a personal favorite), the original ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still‘, and ‘Jurassic Park’.
Surprisingly, the movie that tops NASA’s list is ‘Gattaca‘. I had a lot of problems with that film’s plausibility. I just don’t believe it would be feasible for the main character to totally eliminate any trace of hair, fiber, skin, and other DNA samples from everywhere he lives and works on a daily basis, among other issues. Nevertheless, NASA approves of its core scientific ideas.
I find it shocking that ‘2001: A Space Odyssey‘ didn’t make the “best” list. Was that just an oversight?